The solar wind is here and a CME is coming – Now watch up for vivid auroras

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For the 3rd day in a row, a fast-moving stream of solar wind is buffeting Earth’s magnetic field.

Bright purple aurora over Tromso, Norway by Marianne Bergli via Sapce Weather Gallery

Over the weekend bright pink auroras appeared around the Arctic Circle.

Additional displays are possible tonight as the solar wind continues to blow faster than 500 km/s.

A CME is coming

A dark filament of magnetism snaking across the sun’s southern hemisphere blew up on Feb. 20th.

The eruption split the sun’s atmosphere, hurling a CME toward Earth and creating a “canyon of fire.”

The glowing walls of the canyon trace the channel where the filament was suspended by magnetic forces, before it became unstable and blew.

From end to end, the structure stretches more than 400,000 km.

Soon after the filament erupted, coronagraphs onboard the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) saw a cloud of debris billowing away from the sun:

 

This coronal mass ejection (CME) is not heading directly for Earth. Nevertheless, it is going to hit.

NOAA computer models suggest that the western edge of the cloud will sideswipe our planet on Feb. 23rd or 24th.

 

The glancing blow could cause minor G1-class geomagnetic storms and high latitude auroras in the hours after impact.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. DEar all,
    i read your plea ABOUT THE sOLAR WIND WITH 500KM/S .
    it is INTERESTING, THE AVERAGE SPEED IS 400 KM/S
    THEREFORE, is nothing to be scared of

  2. Remember my first view of the Aurora Borealis back in Yellowstone. Quite amazing. During our dinner, on the grass, a herd of elk came over at dusk, and were nibbling the grass about five feet away. They’re enormous. Then came the light show later that evening.

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